Problems with Peach Tree Leaves

Peach trees leaf-out in the spring after the tree blossoms, and the leaves use energy from the sun to supply the tree with nutrients, creating all those tasty peaches later in the year. Peach trees are deciduous, naturally losing their leaves in fall, but if the leaves fall off before that, it is an indication of a disease or a problem with how the tree is being tended.


The Most Common Problems with Peach Tree Leaves

Peach trees leaves are like small powerhouses, transforming energy from the sun into nutrients the tree needs to grow and make fruit. Without a sufficient number of healthy leaves, a peach tree stops producing peaches and eventually dies.

The most common problems affecting peach tree leaves are:

Peach Leaf Curl

Leaf curl is the most common disease affecting peach trees. Caused by a fungus, the symptoms of peach leaf curl are easy to spot. Leaves pucker, blister, and curl, and the diseased sections turn red.

The leaf curl fungus also affects the flowers, twigs, and fruit. Diseased leaves often fall from the tree and are replaced by new leaves, but if the infection is severe the tree may not have time to recover during that growth season.

Once symptoms of peach leaf curl are evident, it is too late to do anything until the next growing season. However, there are steps you can take to control the problem.

  • Spray the tree in the dormant season with a copper-based fungicide.
  • Clean up fallen leaves and removing them from the site.
  • Plant the tree in a location with good air circulation.
  • Plant peach varieties resistant to peach leaf curl.

Peach Leaves Turning Yellow and Falling

If your peach tree’s leaves turn yellow and fall prematurely, it is often a sign of too little water.

Newly planted trees need between 5 and 10 gallons (19 to 38 liters) of water per week in warm weather. Fully grown trees need about 15 to 20 gallons (57 to 75 liters) per day during very hot summer days.

Water can be applied with daily drip irrigation or with a sprinkler once every one to three weeks, depending on temperatures and soil type.

As a general guideline, water the tree deeply when the surface dries out to a depth of about 2 inches (5cm).

Trees Failing to Leaf-Out in Spring

An excess of rain in the winter can cause root rot, leading to a failure to properly develop leaves in spring. Plant the tree in an area with good drainage to avoid this problem.

Peach trees may also not leaf-out properly in spring if they do not receive the correct number of chill hours. Before planting a peach tree, find out the average range of chill hours for your location and select peach varieties to match.